What would happen if you woke up one day and found yourself trapped within a maze?

Not just any maze, but a deadly, impregnable labyrinth that no one has been able to escape for 3 years?

Well, that’s the basic premise of ‘The Maze Runner’, a film that uses every convention of young adult fiction ever conceived, rarely unpredictably, but somehow manages to remain a cohesive, enjoyable movie.

The main component that keeps ‘The Maze Runner’ from becoming forgettable are its likeable characters, well-acted for the most part. Protagonist Thomas may be a very familiar character mould – the disillusioned hero who challenges an established order despite others’ distrust – but there’s a reason that it’s such a common stereotype. Thomas serves as an avatar upon which the audience can project itself, someone they can identify with. The antagonist, another boy trapped in the maze, Gally, doesn’t come off quite as well, perhaps because he doesn’t begin to develop until the third act of the film.

But the real villain is the maze, which is indeed terrifying, thanks to the slow buildup of suspense before we even see the inside of it.

Unfortunately, unlike the maze, the plot is very predictable, at least until the epilogue but that’s too little too late. The logic behind it is also a bit unbelievable and silly and so much exposition is dumped throughout the movie to try and justify it. The script in general seems poorly edited and the characters’ cliches are mirrored in their dialogue. But again, many characters are so likeable you barely notice their lack of creative design.

Ultimately, ‘The Maze Runner’ is exactly the type of film you’d expect it to be and targeted at a very specific audience, drawing many parallels to ‘The Hunger Games’.

If you liked that film, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this one.

READ: Daniel’s Review

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